In recent times, the beautiful game of Yu-Gi-Oh!
monsters seems to have evolved. You can see in the
number of different regional tournament results that
deck diversity and the pace of the game have
improved dramatically over the Dark Strike Fighter
Since my writing exists only to serve you readers, I
want to spend this article talking about what *you*
want from your deck.
Classifying Card Groups
I think you can group a single Yu-Gi-Oh! duel into
one of two groups. There are open games and closed
games (feel free to substitute different
Open games refer to situations where fields are not
fully developed. Monsters hit the field, monsters
leave the field, and resources are exchanged at a
relatively fast pace.
Examples of cards that promote open games
Smashing Ground (1 for 1 removal)
Dust Tornado (1 for 1 removal)
Bottomless Trap Hole (1 for 1 removal)
Closed games refer to situations where players are
passing and building resources in hand. There are a
number of cards that promote these closed strategies
(we will discuss them in more detail later). Brief
Morphing Jar (hand reset)
Scapegoat (the classic closed-game card)
Starlight Road (another closed-game staple)
Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive (replaces
Cliched but True
It may sound like a cliche, but the best decks are
versatile and capable of playing both a closed and
open game state. This is not completely true for all
top tier deck types though.
I urge you to really look into what you see to
obtain from a deck strategy. A lot of this choice
depends on your personal playstyle. As a player, I
generally much prefer closed-game states. I feel I
have strengths at being able to process complex
scenarios, a trait that gives me an edge when we
each have more cards to spend.
You may disagree. You may prefer forcing a faster,
or even break-neck, pace with the same deck-type!
Let's talk about the ways that different decks can
manipulate their opponent into playing the preferred
Closed Game Strategies:
Decks that focus on continuous Spells or Traps would
obviously prefer a closed-game strategy. After all,
such continuous effects require monsters to
function. And in a duel where both of you are
top-decking, your advantage may not even take shape!
Open Game Strategies:
Decks with lots of floaters (cards that replace
themselves) will generally prefer an open strategy.
That's the reason you see decks like Gadgets
constantly using one for one removal to simplify the
game. At that point, the self-replacing resources
take over and nibble for small amounts of damage
Blackwings do not have to necessarily play a forced
style of aggression. The difference depends on what
your strategy includes:
This BW variant bases itself off an ability to play
multiple copies of Blizzard (which turn into level 6
Synchros). A copy or two of Dark Eruption may be
This deck type can either force card exchanges to
simply the board or play a slower game to ensure a
one turn explosion in a crucial game-sealing turn.
Cards that ensure or benefit a closed-game include
Scapegoat, Morphing Jar, and Gold Sarcophagus.
Cards that force a faster pace include Ryko,
Lightsworn Hunter, Dust Tornado, and Icarus Attack.
This BW variant uses multiple copies of either Royal
Oppression or Skill Drain. In general, the deck
favors a slower game where the continuous trap can
extend its hold over the field. Cards that can help
promote this include Starlight Road, Scapegoat, and
heavy use of defensive traps.
I personally feel GB players are getting too stuck
to one type of strategy. Many players are running
multiple copies of Trap Stun (a card that favors
closed strategies) without even using the key parts
of that strategy!
This variant should base itself off explosive
strategies that generate quick Gyzarus plays. When
the game is closed off, a combo such as Prisma into
Gyzarus, backed up by a Trap Stun, should easily
swing the game.
Focus on using a Cold Wave or Trap Stun type of
disabler with either Rescue Cat or Prisma. Then,
This is the variant I prefer. Gladiator Beasts
should use numerous defensive trap cards and
spell/trap removal to force simplification of the
game. At that point, you can play tactically and
focus on setting up Equeste effects for card
Good cards for this strategy include Trap Dustshoot,
Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter, Dimensional Prison, and
other one for one cards.
Do please remember, always keep in mind what you
hope to accomplish with your deck. Creating a deck
composed of different elements that don't fit
together is a recipe for inefficient deck-building.
In most cases, you are far better served creating a
central idea of what you want from the deck and the
best way to accomplish those goals. Examples of
this thought process:
You are playing a Machina variant. The advantage of
your deck is the ability to generate card advantage
through your Machina Gearframe and the different
Gadget monsters. So don't consider using
counter-productive cards like spell/trap removal.
Remember, you want your opponent to burn monster
removal on your floating monsters!
You are playing an effective Dragon-based deck that
focuses on draw power and explosive one turn kills.
Yet you decide to inexplicably include copies of
Exploder Dragon, a Dragon "subtype" that is
automatically on-theme, right? Wrong! Remember, the
point of your deck is to swarm the board with
powerful monsters that remove monsters by
themselves. Why in the world would you include
monster removal in a deck that brings out 2800's for
free? Focus on either closing the game until you can
draw parts of your combos, or focus on clearing
spell and trap cards.
When you build your decks, focus on each individual
card. Try to classify it as either a closed or open
tool of promotion. And life's short; so if the card
does not fit what *you* want, cut it.
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